U.S. stocks contracted Friday on investor worries over escalating tensions on the border of Ukraine, where the threat of an invasion by Russia looms.
The Nasdaq Composite Index shrunk roughly 2.8 percent in the midafternoon to 13,791.15, while the Dow Jones gave up about 1.4 percent and the S&P 500 2 percent. The 10-year Treasury yield climbed just above 2 percent for the first time since 2019.
The market selloff followed warnings from U.S. officials about what to expect from the Ukraine-Russia crisis. At a White House press conference on Friday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan noted signs of Russian escalation on the Ukrainian border, suggesting an invasion could happen during the Olympics.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed the same.
“Simply put, we continue to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border,” Blinken said at a news conference Thursday in the Australian city of Melbourne.
“As we’ve said before, we’re in a window when an invasion could begin at any time, and to be clear, that includes during the Olympics.”
Energy prices rose on the prospect of an incursion. West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $94.09, up 4.5 percent at the closing bell.
Investors were already searching for stable ground throughout the week after news of inflation rising 7.5 percent and concerns about the Federal Reserve’s near-term plans for raising core interest rates, which is expected to begin next month.